• United States
Senior Editor

Internet2 Update

May 14, 20032 mins
Enterprise Applications

Unfettered access to bandwidth, applications and emerging technologies are but a few major goals of he Internet2 project. You’ll recall that the Internet2 is a group of 200 universities that includes a national backbone called Abilene, working on next-generation Internet technologies.

Our Special Focus, which was penned by Network World’s Denise Pappalardo ( this week takes a look at what the group is working on these days. 

For example:

* Internet2 is experimenting with larger packet sizes as a way of improving network performance. Large packets improve network performance when transmitting “gigabit-per-second flows” because the large packets keep pertinent data together as it travels over the network. The typical IP packet is 15 bytes. A large packet is 9000 bytes, he says.

* Network upgrades have also led to the expansion of network performance monitoring.  The group also now has the ability to capture and examine each flow across the network. While the ability to examine traffic closely from all universities has raised security and privacy concerns.

* In February, Internet2’s Research and Education Network Information Sharing Analysis Center (REN-ISAC) joined the Department of Homeland Security’s national information sharing and analysis center group. 

* The group started experimenting with MPLS because some Internet2 members were looking to support VPNs over Abilene.  Internet2 recognizes that MPLS is an important technology that could help to integrate IP and optical networks. The group is not interested in arguing whether MPLS is the best technology for telecom providers to manage their networks. Some service providers such as Sprint are not using MPLS, while others such as AT&T are betting on the technology and using it throughout their data networks.

For more on Internet2 activities see: